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A Shirakami, T Toyonaga, K Tsuruzoe, T Shirotani, K Matsumoto, K Yoshizato, J Kawashima, Y Hirashima, N Miyamura, CR Kahn, and E Araki

Insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1) gene polymorphisms have been identified in type 2 diabetic patients; however, it is unclear how such polymorphisms contribute to the development of diabetes. Here we introduced obesity in heterozygous IRS-1 knockout (IRS-1(+/-)) mice by gold-thioglucose (GTG) injection and studied the impact of reduced IRS-1 expression on obesity-linked insulin resistance. GTG injection resulted in approximately 30% weight gain in IRS-1(+/-) and wild type (WT) mice, compared with saline-injected controls. There was no difference in insulin sensitivity between lean IRS-1(+/-) and lean WT. Elevated fasting insulin levels but no change in fasting glucose were noted in obese IRS-1(+/-) and WT compared with the respective lean controls. Importantly, fasting insulin in obese IRS-1(+/-) was 1.5-fold higher (P<0.05) than in obese WT, and an insulin tolerance test showed a profound insulin resistance in obese IRS-1(+/-) compared with obese WT. The islets of obese IRS-1(+/-) were 1.4-fold larger than those of obese WT. The expression of insulin receptor and IRS-1 and IRS-2 was decreased in obese IRS-1(+/-), which could in part explain the profound insulin resistance in these mice. Our results suggest that IRS-1 is the suspected gene for type 2 diabetes and its polymorphisms could worsen insulin resistance in the presence of other additional factors, such as obesity.

Free access

Gemma Llauradó, Victòria Ceperuelo-Mallafré, Carme Vilardell, Rafael Simó, Pilar Gil, Albert Cano, Joan Vendrell, and José-Miguel González-Clemente

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and arterial stiffness (AS) in subjects with type 1 diabetes without clinical cardiovascular events. A set of 68 patients with type 1 diabetes and 68 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects were evaluated. AGEs were assessed using serum concentrations of N-carboxy-methyl-lysine (CML) and using skin autofluorescence. AS was assessed by aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV), using applanation tonometry. Patients with type 1 diabetes had higher serum concentrations of CML (1.18 vs 0.96 μg/ml; P=0.008) and higher levels of skin autofluorescence (2.10 vs 1.70; P<0.001) compared with controls. These differences remained significant after adjustment for classical cardiovascular risk factors. Skin autofluorescence was positively associated with aPWV in type 1 diabetes (r=0.370; P=0.003). No association was found between CML and aPWV. Skin autofluorescence was independently and significantly associated with aPWV in subjects with type 1 diabetes (β=0.380; P<0.001) after adjustment for classical cardiovascular risk factors. Additional adjustments for HbA1c, disease duration, and low-grade inflammation did not change these results. In conclusion, skin accumulation of autofluorescent AGEs is associated with AS in subjects with type 1 diabetes and no previous cardiovascular events. These findings indicate that determination of tissue AGE accumulation may be a useful marker for AS in type 1 diabetes.

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Ronald Gonzalez, Benjamin K Reingold, Xiaodong Gao, Mandeep P Gaidhu, Robert G Tsushima, and Suraj Unniappan

Nesfatin-1 is a recently discovered multifunctional metabolic hormone abundantly expressed in the pancreatic islets. The main objective of this study is to characterize the direct effects of nesfatin-1 on insulin secretion in vitro using MIN6 cells and islets isolated from C57BL/6 mice. We also examined the expression of the nesfatin-1 precursor protein, nucleobindin 2 (NUCB2) mRNA, and nesfatin-1 immunoreactivity (ir) in the islets of normal mice and in the islets from mice with streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetes and diet-induced obese (DIO) mice with type 2 diabetes. Nesfatin-1 stimulated glucose-induced insulin release in vitro from mouse islets and MIN6 cells in a dose-dependent manner. No such stimulation in insulin secretion was found when MIN6 cells/islets were incubated with nesfatin-1 in low glucose. In addition, a fourfold increase in nesfatin-1 release from MIN6 cells was observed following incubation in high glucose (16.7 mM) compared to low glucose (2 mM). Furthermore, we observed a significant reduction in both NUCB2 mRNA expression and nesfatin-1-ir in the pancreatic islets of mice with type 1 diabetes, while a significant increase was observed in the islets of DIO mice. Together, our findings indicate that nesfatin-1 is a novel insulinotropic peptide and that the endogenous pancreatic islet NUCB2/nesfatin is altered in diabetes and diet-induced obesity.

Free access

BD Green, MH Mooney, VA Gault, N Irwin, CJ Bailey, P Harriott, B Greer, FP O'Harte, and PR Flatt

Glucagon-like peptide-1(7-36)amide (GLP-1) possesses several unique and beneficial effects for the potential treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, the rapid inactivation of GLP-1 by dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV) results in a short half-life in vivo (less than 2 min) hindering therapeutic development. In the present study, a novel His(7)-modified analogue of GLP-1, N-pyroglutamyl-GLP-1, as well as N-acetyl-GLP-1 were synthesised and tested for DPP IV stability and biological activity. Incubation of GLP-1 with either DPP IV or human plasma resulted in rapid degradation of native GLP-1 to GLP-1(9-36)amide, while N-acetyl-GLP-1 and N-pyroglutamyl-GLP-1 were completely resistant to degradation. N-acetyl-GLP-1 and N-pyroglutamyl-GLP-1 bound to the GLP-1 receptor but had reduced affinities (IC(50) values 32.9 and 6.7 nM, respectively) compared with native GLP-1 (IC(50) 0.37 nM). Similarly, both analogues stimulated cAMP production with EC(50) values of 16.3 and 27 nM respectively compared with GLP-1 (EC(50) 4.7 nM). However, N-acetyl-GLP-1 and N-pyroglutamyl-GLP-1 exhibited potent insulinotropic activity in vitro at 5.6 mM glucose (P<0.05 to P<0.001) similar to native GLP-1. Both analogues (25 nM/kg body weight) lowered plasma glucose and increased plasma insulin levels when administered in conjunction with glucose (18 nM/kg body weight) to adult obese diabetic (ob/ob) mice. N-pyroglutamyl-GLP-1 was substantially better at lowering plasma glucose compared with the native peptide, while N-acetyl-GLP-1 was significantly more potent at stimulating insulin secretion. These studies indicate that N-terminal modification of GLP-1 results in DPP IV-resistant and biologically potent forms of GLP-1. The particularly powerful antihyperglycaemic action of N-pyroglutamyl-GLP-1 shows potential for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Free access

Paige V Bauer and Frank A Duca

The rising global rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity present a significant economic and social burden, underscoring the importance for effective and safe therapeutic options. The success of glucagon-like-peptide-1 receptor agonists in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, along with the potent glucose-lowering effects of bariatric surgery, highlight the gastrointestinal tract as a potential target for diabetes treatment. Furthermore, recent evidence suggests that the gut plays a prominent role in the ability of metformin to lower glucose levels. As such, the current review highlights some of the current and potential pathways in the gut that could be targeted to improve glucose homeostasis, such as changes in nutrient sensing, gut peptides, gut microbiota and bile acids. A better understanding of these pathways will lay the groundwork for novel gut-targeted antidiabetic therapies, some of which have already shown initial promise.

Restricted access

B. Lahlou, B. Fossat, J. Porthé-Nibelle, L. Bianchini, and M. Guibbolini


Cyclic AMP levels were measured in freshly isolated hepatocytes of the rainbow trout. Compared with basal values, the average levels were increased up to 60 times in a dose-dependent manner either by mammalian glucagon (concentration range 1 nmol– 1 μmol/l; dose giving half maximum response (EC50) 0· 18 μmol/l) or by forskolin (concentration range 0·1–100 μmol/l; EC50 about 10 μmol/l). These stimulatory effects were partially inhibited by fish or mammalian neurohypophysial hormones used at relatively high concentrations (1–5 μmol/l). It is suggested that these results are evidence for the presence of V1-type receptors in fish hepatocytes. Together with previous results obtained with gills on the hormonal inhibition of adenylate cyclase activity, they suggest that teleost fish may possess only V1-type receptors (or two V1-related types), while the V2 receptors have evolved (or have become functional) in higher vertebrates.

J. Endocr. (1988) 119, 439–445

Free access

Birgitte N Friedrichsen, Nicole Neubauer, Ying C Lee, Vivian K Gram, Niels Blume, Jacob S Petersen, Jens H Nielsen, and Annette Møldrup

The incretin hormones, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP), have been suggested to act as β-cell growth factors and may therefore be of critical importance for the maintenance of a proper β-cell mass. We have investigated the molecular mechanism of incretin-induced β-cell replication in primary monolayer cultures of newborn rat islet cells. GLP-1, GIP and the long-acting GLP-1 derivative, lira-glutide, increased β-cell replication 50–80% at 10–100 nM upon a 24 h stimulus, whereas glucagon at a similar concentration had no significant effect. The stimulatory effect of GLP-1 and GIP was efficiently mimicked by the adenylate cyclase activator, forskolin, at 10 nM (~90% increase) and was additive (~170–250% increase) with the growth response to human growth hormone (hGH), indicating the use of distinct intracellular signalling pathways leading to mitosis by incretins and cytokines, respectively. The response to both GLP-1 and GIP was completely blocked by the protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor, H89. In addition, the phosphoinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor wortmannin and the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor PD98059, both inhibited GLP-1- and GIP-stimulated proliferation. The p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor, SB203580, had no inhibitory effect on either GLP-1 or GIP stimulated proliferation. Cyclin Ds act as molecular switches for the G0/G1-S phase transition in many cell types and we have previously demonstrated hGH-induced cyclin D2 expression in the insulinoma cell line, INS-1. GLP-1 time-dependently induced the cyclin D1 mRNA and protein levels in INS-1E, whereas the cyclin D2 levels were unaffected. However, minor effect of GLP-1 stimulation was observed on the cyclin D3 mRNA levels. Transient transfection of a cyclin D1 promoter-luciferase reporter construct into islet monolayer cells or INS-1 cells revealed approximately a 2–3 fold increase of transcriptional activity in response to GLP-1 and GIP, and a 4–7 fold increase in response to forskolin. However, treatment of either cell type with hGH had no effect on cyclin D1 promoter activity. The stimulation of the cyclin D1 promoter by GLP-1 was inhibited by H89, wortmannin, and PD98059. We conclude that incretin-induced β-cell replication is dependent on cAMP/PKA, p42 MAPK and PI3K activities, which may involve transcriptional induction of cyclin D1. GLP-1, GIP and liraglutide may have the potential to increase β-cell replication in humans which would have significant impact on long-term diabetes treatment.

Free access

Elisabet Estil.les, Noèlia Téllez, Joan Soler, and Eduard Montanya

Interleukin-1β (IL1B) is an important contributor to the autoimmune destruction of β-cells in type 1 diabetes, and it has been recently related to the development of type 2 diabetes. IGF2 stimulates β-cell proliferation and survival. We have determined the effect of IL1B on β-cell replication, and the potential modulation by IGF2 and glucose. Control-uninfected and adenovirus encoding for IGF2 (Ad-IGF2)-infected rat islets were cultured at 5.5 or 22.2 mmol/l glucose with or without 1, 10, 30, and 50 U/ml of IL1B. β-Cell replication was markedly reduced by 10 U/ml of IL1B and was almost nullified with 30 or 50 U/ml of IL1B. Higher concentrations of IL1B were required to increase β-cell apoptosis. Although IGF2 overexpression had a strong mitogenic effect on β-cells, IGF2 could preserve β-cell proliferation only in islets cultured with 10 U/ml IL1B, and had no effect with 30 and 50 U/ml of IL1B. In contrast, IGF2 overexpression induced a clear protection against IL1B-induced apoptosis, and higher concentrations of the cytokine were needed to increase β-cell apoptosis in Ad-IGF2-infected islets. These results indicate that β-cell replication is highly sensitive to the deleterious effects of the IL1B as shown by the inhibition of replication by relatively low IL1B concentrations, and the almost complete suppression of β-cell replication with high IL1B concentrations. Likewise, the inhibitory effects of IL-β on β-cell replication were not modified by glucose, and were only modestly prevented by IGF2 overexpression, in contrast with the higher protection against IL1B-induced apoptosis afforded by glucose and by IGF2 overexpression.

Free access

Raylene A Reimer

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a potent insulin secretagogue released from L-cells in the intestine. Meat hydrolysate (MH) is a powerful activator of GLP-1 secretion in the human enteroendocrine NCI-H716 cell line, but the mechanisms involved in nutrient-stimulated GLP-1 secretion are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to characterize the intracellular signalling pathways regulating MH- and amino acid-induced GLP-1 secretion. Individually, the pharmacological inhibitors, SB203580 (inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)), wortmannin (inhibitor of phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase) and U0126 (inhibitor of mitogen activated or extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (MEK1/2) upstream of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2) all inhibited MH-induced GLP-1 secretion. Further examination of the MAPK pathway showed that MH increased the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, but not p38 or c-Jun N-terminal kinase over 2–15 min. Incubation with SB203580 resulted in a decrease in phosphorylated p38 MAPK and a concomitant increase in the phosphorylation of ERK1/2. Phosphorylation of ERK1/2 was augmented by co-incubation of MH with SB203580. Inhibitors of protein kinase A and protein kinase C did not inhibit MH-induced GLP-1 secretion. In contrast to non-essential amino acids, essential amino acids (EAAs) increased GLP-1 secretion and similar to MH, activated ERK1/2. However, they also activated p38-suggesting type of protein may affect GLP-1 secretion. In conclusion, there appears to be a crosstalk between p38 and ERK1/2 MAPK in the human enteroendocrine cell with the activation of ERK1/2 common to both MH and EAA. Understanding the cellular pathways involved in nutrient-stimulated GLP-1 secretion has important implications for the design of new treatments aimed at increasing endogenous GLP-1 release in type-2 diabetes and obesity.

Free access

Tianru Jin

The proglucagon gene (gcg) encodes a number of peptide hormones that are of cell-type specifically expressed in the pancreatic islets, the distal ileum and the large intestine, as well as certain brain neuronal cells. These hormones are important in controlling blood glucose homeostasis, intestinal cell proliferation, and satiety. More importantly, the major hormone generated in the pancreas (i.e. glucagon) exerts opposite effects to the ones that are produced in the intestines (i.e. glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and GLP-2). To understand the mechanisms underlying cell-type-specific gcg expression may lead to the identification of novel drug targets to control endogenous hormone production for therapeutic purposes. Extensive in vitro examinations have shown that more than a half dozen of homeodomain (HD) proteins are able to interact with the gcg gene promoter and activate its expression. In vivo ‘knock-out’ mouse studies, however, cannot demonstrate the role of some of them (i.e. Cdx-2, Brn-4, and Nkx6.2) in the development of pancreatic islet α-cells, suggesting that these HD proteins may exert some redundant functions in the genesis of gcg-producing cells. Investigations have also revealed that gcg expression is controlled by both protein kinase A and Epac signaling pathways in response to cAMP elevation, and cell-type specifically controlled by insulin and the effectors of the Wnt signaling pathway. This review summarizes our current understanding on the mechanisms underlying gcg transcription and presented my interpretations on how the interactions between different signaling networks regulate gcg expression.